Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Subtropical Storm Alberto Threatens Florida, Gulf Coast

A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun Mexico A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun Mexico
Guillermo Lane | 29 May, 2018, 00:59

Subtropical Storm Alberto is bringing soaking rains and strong wind gusts to the Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle, where it's making landfall on Monday afternoon. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River.

Subtropical Storm Alberto weakened slightly as it neared Florida's Panhandle, where it should come ashore Monday to spread heavy rains across the southern US, potentially causing more than $1 billion in economic losses.

Tropical Storm conditions are likely for the west coast of Florida today and for the northern Gulf coast by tonight. The storm was moving north at about 14 miles per hour, he added, "so not real fast".

Forecasters are also warning people in those same areas and in southern SC of the possibility that "brief tornadoes" could develop as Alberto moves further inland. A more destructive storm could develop over the next 48 hours.

The early storm doesn't necessarily mean this year's hurricane season will be as busy as last year's, though.

The storm will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

Subtropical storms are essentially hybrid systems with some features of fully tropical systems - but not all.

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The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from Sunday evening until Monday morning for the northern two-thirds of the state. Bands of dry air wrapped up with the storm spared Central Florida much of the feared rainfall that had triggered a flood watch, and the watch was discontinued Sunday afternoon.

Gulf Coast residents should "take this storm seriously", the National Weather Service said on Sunday as Subtropical Storm Alberto drove north through the Gulf of Mexico, threatening heavy rains and winds to the southern coastal states.

Mandatory evacuations are being ordered for small barrier islands in one Florida county ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto, and voluntary evacuations are issued for another county.

And just as the long holiday weekend marked summer's unofficial start in the U.S., Alberto gave it the unofficial start of what forecasters recently predicted would be an active hurricane season.

Perry, Fla., has received almost 2 inches of rain since Sunday morning, and it will get much more, the NWS said shortly before noon ET.

"There is the risk that Alberto stalls near the coast on Monday and struggles to move inland", said AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey. The storm was expected to make landfall later in the day. (You'd rather be safe than soaked.) We'll see a few showers across North Carolina and the Southside first as the rain will be moving from the south to the north.

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